The primary objective of the Jackson Heart Study is to investigate the causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African Americans to learn how to best prevent this group of diseases in the future.

Specific objectives include:
• Identification of factors, which influence the development, and worsening of CVD in African Americans, with an emphasis on manifestations related to high blood pressure (such as remodeling of the left ventricle of the heart, coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and disorders affecting the blood vessels of the kidney).
• Building research capabilities in minority institutions at the undergraduate and graduate level by developing partnerships between minority and majority institutions and enhancing participation of minority investigators in large-scale epidemiologic studies.
• Attracting minority students to and preparing them for careers in health sciences.

The Jackson Heart Study conducted three cohort examinations, an initial clinic examination from 2000 to 2004 (Exam1), followed by a second exam from 2005 to 2008 (Exam 2) and a final exam in 2009 to 2013 (Exam 3). Starting in 2001, participants have been contacted annually, and ascertainment of hospitalizations for cardiovascular events and deaths is ongoing.